Comparison of nipple projection with the modified double-opposing tab and star flaps

S S Kroll, G P Reece, M J Miller, G R Evans, G L Robb, B J Baldwin, B G Wang, M A Schusterman
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 1997, 99 (6): 1602-5
This study compared nipple projection after nipple reconstruction (following breast mound reconstruction) with either the modified double-opposing tab flap or the star flap. Areolar reconstruction and pigmentation of the nipple were achieved with tattooing. Nipple projection for 153 nipples was measured at least 6 months after the reconstruction, when projection was believed to have become stable. Mean follow-up was 2.27 years. In the 106 nipples reconstructed with modified double-opposing tab flaps, the mean projection was 2.4292 mm, while in the 47 nipples reconstructed with star flaps, the mean projection was 1.9681 mm (p = 0.021). We conclude that although both methods are effective, the modified double-opposing tab flap has slightly more projection after approximately 2 years. It is not known, however, whether this is because of reduced flap atrophy or longer initial projection by the modified double-opposing tab flap; further studies are ongoing.

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